It’s a Great Big Dangerous World

For people like me who aren’t naturally brave, just getting up in the morning and leaving the house has its challenges and scary elements. I’m not talking about agoraphobia or even my formerly much higher state of perpetual anxiety, but rather the knowledge that on any ordinary day unexpectedly bad things can happen at any random moment. I know, too, that fabulous and gloriously good things can occur without any apparent reason or preface. And among the many, many things I worry about, even if I don’t outright fear them, are the unknown and loss of an undoubtedly false sense of control.Photo: Leaving the Nest

So when I get the courage to pop out of my cozy little life nest, that place wherever I feel safest and most comfortable and contented, I can have moments of feeling like some little hatchling hopping out off the ledge for the first time, not entirely sure whether my wings work yet or not, let alone whether I will know what to do with them when the time comes. Walking the last mile or so to my doctor’s appointment the other day and seeing a handsome trio of vultures lounging overhead on the telephone poles, I was inclined to make a quick inward note that I hoped the three amigos relaxing up there weren’t also considering me a potentially delicious traveling snack. My hike was, after all, only for a conversational and informational visit to the doctor, so I hoped I wasn’t looking invitingly unwell to their shiny little eyebulbs.Photo: Vultures Watching Over Me

Heading along the highway today and seeing, conversely, the half-flattened remains of some other poor vulture where it had unexpectedly been taught its expiration date by a passing vehicle, I thought the reverse: I wish I could undo your doom, once-graceful bird. The truth is somewhere in between for me, on an average day. Whether I am predator or prey, the day will do with me—and the birds soaring around me—as it wishes. Whether any of us leaving our perches will soar or crash isn’t entirely a matter of choice and will, nor is it wholly chance, but most likely it is someplace in between on an ordinary day. I am so glad that the forces governing us all aren’t utterly capricious but are generally more benign and kindly. Even toward those of us destined to be either road kill or the ones dining on it.

11 thoughts on “It’s a Great Big Dangerous World

      • So happy to hear they were good to you. Sometimes when I see them in passing, I have a moment of fear thinking they are going to swoop down any second and peck at my head! Though I do think they prefer their dinner dead! Ack! 😉

  1. Very cool. I have lots of these photos. We Indians live in the certainty of probability. With 1.2 billion of us – the probability of the next chap being burned is high

    • And as much as we act like we think our human selves invincible, we all know that’s just a fantasy! Lately, with all of the thunderstorms here, I imagine my biggest chance of early demise won’t be as a vulture’s lunch but from being struck by lightning! 😉 We haven’t got monsoons here, but from seeing the little local rivers turn into wide, shallow lakes in the last few weeks, I’d say we’re getting closer than Texas has seen in a long time. Maybe eventually you and I will be able to travel by boat to meet each other! 😀

  2. As always you put in words what I believe most of us feel…..and you do it so beautifully with such aplomb……
    I hope you enjoy a beautiful weekend….and even if the weather isn’t necessarily co operating, – one where you can immerse yourself in creativity and surround yourself with all that you love. Janet. xxx

    • We *will* have a fun and artful weekend, between the friends staying with us and the big party for which they’re coming: the official non-university-related retirement party for Richard’s choral colleague. Members of Jerry’s choirs from all over the region (and many from out of state) are converging tomorrow afternoon and evening to sing for him and then have a big dinner together. I think I heard there will be about 120 at the restaurant dinner—thank goodness I’m not responsible for hosting that one at home, since on a potentially stormy night it’s hard to imagine where in the house we could squash everybody!

      Sweet weekend delights to you, too!


    • The party was outstandingly planned and arranged, and we all had a grand time. My favorite part was probably when I played with our two little “choral granddaughters” and watched them take immense pleasure in just dashing up and down the ramp between the dining room and the bar, and the wait-staff were as friendly and kind to them as could be. So charming! 🙂

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